This is one of the great texts in the entire bible and in one of the most fascinating chapters. As is John 6 and really John’s gospel is probably the most wonderful book with so much richness and depth, especially as it reveals the Torah and Tenach unlike any other. Is it a surprise then that John calls himself the disciple that Jesus loved? He doesn’t even use his name but he says this.
Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” John 21:20
John understood that Jesus was about to die and he couldn’t possibly be any closer. Was he actually trying to remain in Jesus? That is how John could write this. In Acts 4, John and Peter were said to be uneducated and untrained men. John still likely a boy at this time, wouldn’t write he’s gospel for 50 years. John clearly studied the Torah and Tanakh thoroughly to be able to write this. The passage is referenced a few times on the OT and likely from this Jacob said of Judah.
Binding his donkey to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, And his clothes in the blood of grapes. Genesis 49:11. Observe what is also said by the prophet Zechariah;
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; he is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem. The bow of war will be removed, and he will proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion will extend from sea to sea, from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. As for you, because of the blood of your covenant, I will release your prisoners from the waterless cistern. Zechariah 9:9-11 CSB
Now Joshua was dressed with filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. So the angel of the Lord spoke to those standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes!” Then he said to him, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with festive robes.” Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So a clean turban was placed on his head, and they clothed him in garments while the angel of the Lord was standing nearby. Then the angel of the Lord charged Joshua, “This is what the Lord of Armies says: If you walk in my ways and keep my mandates, you will both rule my house and take care of my courts; I will also grant you access among these who are standing here. “Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your colleagues sitting before you; indeed, these men are a sign that I am about to bring my servant, the Branch. Notice the stone I have set before Joshua; on that one stone are seven eyes. I will engrave an inscription on it” — this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies — “and I will take away the iniquity of this land in a single day. On that day, each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree.” This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies. Zechariah 3:3-10 CSB
sit on his throne and rule. There will be a priest on his throne, and there will be peaceful counsel between the two of them. The crown will reside in the Lord’s temple as a memorial to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen son of Zephaniah. People who are far off will come and build the Lord’s temple, and you will know that the Lord of Armies has sent me to you. This will happen when you fully obey the Lord your God.” Zechariah 6:11-15 CSB
Word Study; αἴρω – Transliteration: airó
To raise, lift up, take away, remove. Seems to mean to remove sin.
καθαίρω – Transliteration: kathairó
To cleanse, purify, prune. Basically the purpose is to make holy.
καθαρός – Transliteration: katharos
clean, pure, unstained, either literally or ceremonially or spiritually; guiltless, innocent, upright. Basically made holy or righteous.
Jesus who is actually at the mount of Olives with grape vines surrounding them. He is simply stating what men actually do to fruit tree’s. Our flesh is a problem as clearly stated in Romans 8 and Galatians 5. God will cut away our bad behaviours but even when we are doing good and producing good fruit, he still prunes so that we produce even more fruit. This is why Job was tested, Jesus tested in the wilderness. Bad things happen to good people because we are not God but flesh.
Why does he do this? To help us to live by faith.